Before –

April 3, 2019

The Adams and Eves
continually expelled
and with what tenacity
returning at night!

Before,
when the two of them
did not count
and there were no months
no births and no music
their fingers were unnumbered.

Before,
when the two of them did not count
did they feel
a prickling behind the eyes
a thirst in the throat
for something other than
the perfume of infinite flowers
and the breath of immortal animals?
In their untrembling sleep
did the tips of their tongues
seek the bud of another taste
which was mortal and sweating?

Did they envy the longing
of those to come after the Fall?

Women and men still return
to live through the night
all that uncounted time.

And with the punctuality
of the first firing squad
the expulsion is at dawn”

John Berger
And Our Faces, My Heart, Brief as Photos